Leopold Center at Iowa State University Schedules Nov. 15 Listening Session

Mark Rasmussen

AMES, Iowa — Calmar, in northeast Iowa, will be the site of the last listening session to help guide the future of Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

The listening session, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Wilder Rooms 104-105 on the campus of Northeast Iowa Community College at 1625 Hwy 150 South in Calmar.

A visioning task force has hosted five listening sessions to hear from attendees on how the center may move forward. Locations have included Ames, Sioux Center, Lewis and Iowa City. The task force is co-chaired by Mark Rasmussen, the Leopold Center’s director and Doug Gronau, who is the immediate past chair of the center’s advisory board.

Last spring, the Iowa Legislature passed legislation to defund and close the 30-year-old center. Then-Governor Terry Branstad used a line-item veto to remove language that would have closed the center, but signed the bill that removed its state funding of approximately $1.7 million. As of July 1, the center’s only new revenues have come from earnings from an endowment established by private giving.